I started reading “The Rise of the Creative Class, Revisited” by Richard Florida and right at the beginning I found an interesting thought exercise leading me to the question I used as title of this post:
Imagine two men, one which travelled over time from 1900 to 1950 and one which travelled from 1950 to 2000. What differences would they see around them?
The author tells us that the first man would see mostly technological differences: cars, refrigerators, TV, radio, airplanes, telephone etc. The other would see better cars, refrigerators, TVs, radio, airplanes, telephones etc. The only additions would be the computer and internet – but the majority of changes would be of social nature. Gender and race mix in the workplace would be much richer than in 1950, acceptance of diversities would be higher, in short – he would see great social change in terms of embracing diversity.
Mr. FLorida says that this has led to even greater creativity, to creation of “creative class”. And here comes my question: if that is really so, then why are we still drive cars, fly airplanes, use refrigerators, phones, etc? If we are more creative, where did that creativity go? Right now it seems that we have improved on everything what already was, which is (at least in my opinion) much easier than coming up with original idea. Did we invest all that newly won creativity only into social changes? If yes, then this was not really a major achievement of human race, as changes in this area were organic, we would reach the same point anyway, sooner or later.
So where did that creativity go? I hope that the book will answer my question…